What happened next ended with the suspect having to be flown to a hospital. The woman's husband tells Eyewitness News she was trying to hit a telephone pole in order to disorient the attacker. He apparently jumped form the van and the woman ran over him.
Police say inside the minivan were a two-year-old boy and his five-year-old sibling. Their mother, Dorothy Baker-Flugence, had just left a Baytown CVS, police say, when Ismael Martinez popped up in the back of the van. He had a knife.
"The guy pulled a knife on her," said Charles Flugence, the victim's husband. "He had a knife on my son."
Flugence says his wife told him she struggled with Martinez, honked the horn and somehow called 911 while getting the knife.
"She got the knife," Flugence said. "She got a cut that goes across her chest. She grabbed the knife and he bit her hand."
Police say the woman ran her van intentionally off the road trying to disorient the attacker. She was hoping that a 911 dispatcher would hear what was going on, and find a way to sent help. But when she saw a telephone pole, she sped up and targeted it, feeling it was a risk she had to take.
"I thought, 'If you swerve and hit the pole, he's not wearing a seatbelt, he'll go through the windshield or at least hit his head, and you can stop him. You can do something to make sure that he doesn't hurt your kids,'" Dorothy Baker-Flugence said. "That's all I was thinking of really, was just to get him away from my kids."
Police add that Baker-Flugence punched the man in the face and when she stopped, he jumped out of the vehicle. That's when she reportedly turned the tables and ran over him.
"She got into a struggle with the man while trying to protect her children," said Lt. Eric Freed with the Baytown police. "She actually overpowered him. At some point in time, he jumped from the vehicle and was run over by the vehicle."
Baker-Flugence says while she ran over the man intentionally, she only wanted to stop him, not intending to seriously harm him.
Back at the CVS where the mother had been shopping, folks are applauding her for doing what it took to protect her children.
"That's scary, it's really scary," said Baytown resident Dottie Sparks. "But good for her!"
Baytown resident Joyce Sparks added, "She's trying to protect herself and her kids. I'd do the same thing."
Martinez was taken by Life Flight to the hospital with serious injuries to his back. He was listed in stable condition Friday night and is expected to face serious charges. Martinez's criminal history includes rape and burglary convictions.
The children were unhurt in the incident, and their father is thankful for his wife's actions.
"She's my hero. I'll take her anywhere. I'll take her anywhere twice on Sunday," Flugence said. "She's a tough one. I wouldn't have it any other way."